Body Abuse Is a War Crime. And Punishes Accordingly

by Olha Povaliaieva
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Body Abuse Is a War Crime. And Punishes Accordingly

In connection with the increase in the facts of sexual violence against Ukrainians, the prosecutor general of Ukraine stressed the need to use international protocols for the investigation of sexual crimes

On April 5, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktova, convened a coordination meeting with the relevant state institutions to investigate sexual abuse. Reports of crimes are received daily through government agencies and social networks. The prosecutor said that sexual crimes were committed not only against women but also against minors, men, and the elderly.

"But the victims are silent about it. It is their choice. And it is clear: fear, pain, despair, total distrust of all. We are developing an effective algorithm to help victims physically, morally, and legally. This will greatly help NGOs because, according to the practice of combating domestic violence, they are trusted by the victims. And here we will be in synergy: from them safety and therapy, from us protection of the rights of victims and punishment of the guilty," Irina Venediktova.

The use of international protocols to investigate this type of war crime was approved during the council meeting. If necessary, the body of the murdered person will be examined for rape.

"Journalists are constantly asking about the statistics of such crimes, the number of proceedings. These figures change daily, but they do not reflect the situation. Those who have suffered such terrible violence, for the most part, do not want to be statistics, not from the direct victims. The signals are not always confirmed," the general prosecutor commented.

Iryna Venediktova stressed the urgent need to be sensitive to the victim of abuse because, during the next retelling of the horror experienced by doctors, investigators, prosecutors, and journalists, the victim may relive the trauma.

"We need to spread clear instructions for victims on how to record the crime. But remember that where there is no connection, we are unlikely to be notified promptly, even if desired. Where there is no light, it is good to hope that the victim will be able to photograph injuries on the phone," summarized Venediktova.

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